"Heap on more wood - the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still."
- Sir Walter Scott
Christmas at our house this year will be full of reminders of my Scottish heritage. I have written about my Cameron ancestors previously, when I was writing for Tablescape Times Three. If you would like to see some pieces of my Scottish collection and read about my "Fiercer than Fierceness Itself" ancestors who were members of Clan Cameron, you can see the post HERE.
I love everything about Scotland, especially the Tartans. Maybe, that is why Ralph Lauren has always been my favorite designer. This Highlander Santa from Horchow is a perfect example. He is outfitted in a Royal Stewart tartan kilt, with black and silver accents. The placemats on the table are also the Royal Stewart plaid from Dillard's.
Draped over one of the dining room chairs is a woolen blanket that I purchased in Scotland. It is the tartan pattern of the Queen's Own Highlanders military regiment - Cameron of Erracht . This regiment was active in Scotland from 1793 until 1804 and in Great Britain from 1804 until 1961. Here is a picture of an early member of the regiment:
This tartan pattern was chosen by the Camerons and not designed by the government, which I believe was unusual for a military unit.
Another of my obsessions is Mauchline Ware, which was made in South West Scotland in the town of Mauchline, until the last factory burned down in 1933. Besides this transferware, tartanware and fernware were also made in the factories. I will serve mints from my little boxes, after our Christmas feast. My favorite of the boxes in the larger one in the back, which shows Edinburgh from the castle hill.
Another Scottish treasure is this Edinburgh Crystal bowl, which was a gift from my husband. The workmanship on this bowl is truly exquisite and I love it!
The place setting started with silver chargers with black dinner plates and red glass Maxwell and Williams salad plates. On top is my favorite (another obsession!!) Christmas pattern, "Spode Christmas Tree". Although, not Scottish, I think that you could find this English pattern on a few Scottish tables at Christmas! I decided to use Towle "Diane" silver, The sea references (shell, waves, etc.) on the flatware remind me of the wild Scottish coastline.
I used mother-of-pearl dinner knives, since so many of these pieces were made in Great Britain. Mine were made by Shreve & Company in America, however.
Other pieces that are strictly American made are the stemware pieces that I used. I could not resist the platinum rims on the Tiffin "Argenta" iced beverage glasses, nor the beautiful green color of the Fostoria "Spartan" water goblets.
The tartan votive holders and the mercury glass pillar candle holders came from Walmart this year.
I found this cute little Nikko dish at Dillard's. I think it is meant to coordinate with several Nikko Christmas patterns. Of course, I loved the plaid decoration on the edge. I tried to find a real tartan pattern (I own several research books on tartans) that was similar and I do think that this one is a modified (for Christmas) "Dress Stewart".
I am pretty happy with my Scottish Christmas table. It will be a great starting point to share my heritage with the grandchildren. From our house to yours, Merry Christmas and I hope Santa is very good to you, whether he is Scottish or not!!!